KBF Premier League: Juma to the rescue as Thunder clap Blades
Derrick Juma’s timely two-pointer jump shot in the dying minutes of the game rescued Nairobi City Thunder from the jaws of unrelenting Strathmore University Blades in a neck-to-neck Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s league encounter at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.
The late show by Juma, his seventh point of the game, gave Thunder, the 2019 KBF men’s league finalists, a crucial 62-60 win against hard-fighting Blades, as Thunder pushed hard for the league title this season.
Tony Mwendwa was on target to give Thunder an early 2-0 points lead in his 13 points tally in the game but Garang Ding responded almost immediately with a three-pointer shot to take Blades 3-2 up, however, Thunder fought back to win the first quarter 14-12.
Dismas Mbaka was a handful, guiding Thunder to win the second quarter 17-16 to go into the breather leading 31-28.
But on resumption, Blades upped their tempo, matching Thunder pound for pound to take the third quarter 15-18 and tie the encounter 36-36 up.
The final quarter was thrilling as each side gave as much as they got, scoring 14 points apiece to tie the tie 60-60 but a moment of brilliance from Juma earned Thunder two crucial points that saw them win the fourth quarter 16-14 and the encounter as well, 62-60.
Thunder’s 62 points came off Mbaka who was the game top scorer with 15 points, Kenya Morans’ team captain Griffin Ligare (13 points), Tony Mwendwa (13 points), match winner Derick Juma (seven points), Davis Matunda (two points), Felix Ajowi (two points) as well as Collins Odhiambo and Harrison Kaudia who scored five points each.
Meanwhile, Coastal Queens and Coastal Kings suffered home defeats after losing to visiting MMU 52-32 and ANU 69-67 in the women’s and men’s Division One leagues while former women’s premier league champions KPA hammered ANU 98-36 to keep their hopes of reclaiming the league title this year.
Elsewhere, Nakuru Club saw off Nebulas 78-61 before Nebulas bounced back to see off Renegades 82-76 in the men’s Division One league as KU Oryx clipped Eagle Wings 42-36.
The University of Nairobi Dynamites neutralised Storms 57-42 with Zetech emerging 59-39 winners over Strathmore.